‘Attending The Run SMART Retreat Was Life Changing’

After dropping almost 10 minutes off her 4-mile time, Casey Kovacic wrote one of the best testimonials I’ve ever read about her coach Alicia Shay and how The Run SMART Retreat inspired her to start running. We’ve been granted permission to share her amazing story.

Do you realize how new I was to running when I attended The Run SMART Retreat in the summer of 2009 (I basically started running in April of that year)? As I mentioned at the retreat, my being there was life changing. After I returned home, suddenly, on August 4th, a light went on – I realized I really like running and plan to continue as long as I can.

I signed up to work with Alicia on a nutrition plan in early 2010, and that was a great help because 2010 was a year of much time spent working two jobs and not much time running. Who knows how bad my eating would have been without the plan?! She laid the groundwork for much better nutrition as well as for (finally) getting over my Mountain Dew addiction, although I didn’t kick that habit until 2011 (the habit was long-term – since 1993 I had been drinking the ol’ Dew daily – but only at work).

More Run SMART Client Results

Casey Kovacic ran a huge PR at the Farmington Dew Run 4-Miler in Farmington, MN. In 2009 she ran 53:04 and this past Saturday she dropped almost 10 minutes off her time finishing in 44:38!

Kit Wendtland, only 18 years of age, was the youngest finisher by far in the Bighorn Mountain 50 Miler in Sheridan, WY. Kit finished first in his age group and 37th overall on a grueling course which starts at 8,000 feet in 10:28:41.

Casey and Kit both work with Run SMART coach Alicia Shay. Congrats, guys!

Alicia Shay’s #1 Summer Hydration Tip

I asked Alicia the other day whether she had a quick hydration tip that typically gets missed when discussing running during the summer. She said her number one hydration tip for warm weather is:

Start early and sip continually! Within 30 minutes after waking up, it is extremely important to drink at least 16 ounces of water.  This will help replenish the dehydration that naturally occurs while sleeping and also help ensure that you begin the day hydrated. 

Gundula Brattke Finishes First Marathon

Run SMART client Gundula Brattke finished her first marathon this past weekend at the Cox Sports Marathon in Providence, RI. Her official time was 5:19:09 (full results). When she signed up for coaching this past summer and began working with Run SMART coach Alicia Shay her longest run was 13 miles. Congrats to Gundula on this great accomplishment! Next stop is the New York City Marathon this fall!


Cathrine Wolden Runs 2:56 At Marathon Rotterdam

Cathrine Wolden set her third straight marathon PR with Run SMART this past weekend at the Marathon Rotterdam. Her time of 2:56:08, on a very sunny and windy day, was almost a two minute PR and won her 3rd place in the 35-39 age group (full results). The best part about her amazing performance was how well she paced herself. She was 20:48 at the first 5k and 20:44 for her last 5k! At the halfway mark she split 1:28:07 and came back a bit faster in 1:28:01!!

Kathy Eims Sets Marathon PR

Run SMART client Kathy Eims set a new PR at the Yakima River Canyon Marathon. After fighting off a “bum plantar” over the last several weeks Kathy still managed to drop over six minutes off of her personal best. Her official time was 4:14:32 (full results). Kathy works with coach Alicia Shay.

If you’ve never heard of the Yakima River Canyon Marathon, it’s worth checking out some of the scenic views along the course. Seems like a really beautiful race.

Why Do You Run?

By Alicia Shay

Truthfully, I had a great nutrition article written and ready to post.  However, as I glanced over the words I had typed out, their importance seemed to pale in comparison to how the nation of Japan is suffering right now.  For the last several days, every time I step outside to go for a run I feel conflicted.  For the first mile my legs feel heavy and my heart feels even heavier.  Images of a country ravaged by an earthquake, a tsunami and now nuclear dangers play through my mind.  My thoughts range from sorrow to prayer to grief to hopelessness and to hope. As the seconds tick by, eventually my pace quickens, the heaviness starts to lift and the urge to stop disappears as I press forward.

“Alicia Has Helped Me Revamp My Nutrition”

The latest addition to our Testimonials page comes from Bernice Brown, who signed up for nutrition consultation with Run SMART coach Alicia Shay:

A couple of months ago I signed up for a nutrition consultation. I am so glad that I did! Alicia has been great and has REALLY helped me revamp my nutrition.  All of her information was so detailed and her recommendations were easy to follow.  Everything from choosing a good vitamin to how to fuel my runs and most importantly how to properly nourish my body in everyday life. I  am very grateful to Alicia Shay for helping me make positive changes to assist in reaching my goals.

Winter Running Footwear Tips

By Vince Sherry

I wince every time I see more than a couple inches of snow in the forecast. It’s ironic, considering one of my favorite Bill Bowerman quotes is “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only soft people.”

This is a relatively new qualm of mine. I grew up in Rochester, NY. Since Rochester rarely sees the sun in the winter (and the winter is very long), the snow sticks around much longer. But I never missed a day of running due to snow in Rochester, and the fresh white powder made the otherwise dismal winter landscape a little more pleasing to the eye. I actually enjoyed running on snowy days. So what happened?

Confusion About Which Fats Are Best

By Alicia Shay

The below guidelines should help you sort through the confusion about which fats are best for maximizing your training, performances and health.

Polyunsatured Fats:

1. Omega-3 Fats: BEST-eat at least 1-2 times per day

Nuts and Seeds: flax seeds, flax oil, flax meal, chia seeds, walnuts, soy nuts, hemp seeds